Air Awakens by Elise Kova, a review (Air Awakens #1)

Air Awakens by Elise Kova is a book I was challenged to read by Princess from Castle Library as a part of my 12 books in 12 months challenge for 2022. Without that, I don’t think this book would have been on my radar. Maybe that would’ve been a good thing…

Air Awakens by Elise Kova

In this book we have a young woman/girl who works in the palace library. She’s lucky to have this job, and loves being around the books. There’s also magic in this world, sorcerer’s aren’t exactly accepted in society, but the power they have and how it helps the country in the war they’re fighting means they are feared and respected. But our main character is enticed into this magical world after saving the life of a prince. And her life is about to be altered forever.

Unfortunately, this just wasn’t the book for me. The plot concept was really interesting. I enjoyed learning about the different powers, how they were linked to locations, and which ones were rare and which were common. But it was such a minor part of the book that was barely explored.

Instead, the main part of the book was the ridiculous, pining, totally inappropriate, romance. I was rolling my eyes listening to this and speeding up the audio as much as I could just to get through the damn thing! It’s all so over the top, ridiculous, and I really just could not be arsed to listen to this girl whine over this bloke. No thank you. This is definitely the main part of the book, if that’s your vibe then you should totally enjoy this one and I really hope that you do! But it really isn’t for me.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 3, Atmosphere: 3, Writing: 2, Plot: 3, Intrigue: 2, Logic: 3, Enjoyment: 1. Giving an average of 2.43 and a 2* rating. My lowest rated book so far this year.

Highlight here for content warnings: death, physical abuse, fire, gore, injury, confinement, violence, classism, child death, torture, toxic relationship, police brutality, kidnapping, grief, death of parent, gaslighting, war, adult/minor relationship, xenophobia.

Overall? This one ain’t for me, and despite being curious about the war in the world and the possible worldbuilding, I highly doubt I’ll be carrying on with this without outside motivation because I just cannot deal with reading something like that again. Definitely one for those who enjoy more romance in their books!

Her Adult isn’t any better than her YA 😑

I tried to read from this author once before, and just really did not get along with her writing style or her topic choice, and so I said I’d never read from her again. But she turned up in an Illumicrate box… damn it! (I really need to pay more attention to what’s coming in those things). Book of Night by Holly Black didn’t sound too bad though, when I took at look at the synopsis.

The back of this book (under the dust jacket, printed in foiling – which I can’t deny was fucking stunning) was a sentence claiming that our protagonist breaks everything she touches and is good at blowing things up. This made me think she was gunna blow things up… she did not. How rude 😠

Instead this was a book about a young woman who used to live a life of crime, but tried to go straight to keep her family safe. But, of course, she is pulled back into the criminal world. And within this criminal world are magical shadows. They’re usually linked and bound to their owners, but these shadows can go rogue and separate from their human. Now this concept? Fascinating. The execution? Disappointing. There is so much that could have been done with this and Holly Black just… doesn’t.

Surprising no one, this book felt incredibly juvenile for an adult book. It still very much reads like YA, and whilst I love a good bit of YA when I’m going into an adult book that’s not what I’m expecting. I’ve heard about her other books and the levels of sexual tension present (those ones that are YA), this book had maybe 1% of sexual tension? Like if you don’t like that in books? This one will be fine for you!

Also, our main character of Charlie Hall is just so fucking annoying. Now I can deal with an unlikeable main character if they either have a redeeming characteristic, or if they’re written well (Mia Corvere anyone?) but Charlie? Nah. She’s an idiot approximately half of the time and I just could not be arsed with her.

It also felt odd that our main character constantly talks shit about tarot cards and that whole *vibe* when shadows can come to life in this world. Like… are you seriously going to insult something that could quite easily be real? In this world? Ya sure?

On CAWPILE I rated this book: Characters: 2, Atmosphere: 3, Writing: 2, Plot: 1, Intrigue: 3, Logic: 2, Enjoyment: 3 giving an average of 2.29 and a 1.5* rating. I’ll probably round that up to 2 on Goodreads. Just to be nice.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: alcohol, assault, attempted murder, blood, child abuse, drugs, gore, gun violence, incest, murder, poisoning (ketamine), self-harm, violence.

Overall, for me this was just super disappointing and I wouldn’t recommend people to pick it up. But have you read it? Do you think differently to me? Let me know!

What the HELL was this book?

Watching Edie by Camilla Way had been on my tbr for a long time, around 4 years probably. I had picked it up in a Poundland when they still sold new books (any Brits, they now sell secondhand books, it can be a good spot to check if you’re on the skint side like moi) and for some reason just never picked it up. It was my choice in the “shortest book” slot for the Thrillerathon in February and seeing as I was late to start this readathon I decided to pick this one up.

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It started out promising, I personally enjoyed Way’s writing style and the storyline was interesting. However, as the book carried on it devolved and became a lot less interesting. It also felt manipulative towards the reader, trying to make you feel for the events and the characters when the writing hadn’t been good enough and the plot hadn’t been written well enough to justify these emotions.

I struggled with my rating for this book, and I still do. I’m between a one and two star. I did enjoy certain bits and as I said, I enjoyed the writing style, which is why I bumped it up to a two star. It is, however, a badly done concept and I don’t care for it at all. I’m glad it’s off of my tbr now and I’ll likely donate it to charity at some point. Hopefully someone else can enjoy it, but I doubt it.


Talking with Psychopaths and Savages: A Journey into the Evil Mind… eh…

This book was….well… The subject matter was incredibly interesting and I was looking forward to seeing what the author had to say when I picked it up in the shop. However, this book just seemed to be a way for him to plug his other books and say how much more he has written in them. There was correspondence with murderers, but he also talked about some cases which he had no contact with at all which seemed very odd considering the book’s title. There were many repeated phrases which didn’t fit quite as well as I imagine he hoped and he kept mentioning the books word limit as a reason why he could not say any more for the end section which makes it seem like he was just rushing through this to make the publishing date and it isn’t a project he really cared about. Overall, the subject matter was incredibly interesting which did make it a quick read, however, the author added nothing other than self-praise which brought down the book. I wonder if his other books are written in the same vein, I probably will never read them but it would be interesting to know if he is as self-centred in all his writing.

Essentially, I can’t even justify giving this book a more detailed review as I don’t want it to waste any more of my time. I wouldn’t recommend.